While some might give a hongbao, or red envelope, to their parents during the Lunar New Year as a filial gesture, 50-year-old Hu Han-yan (胡漢龑), owner of Chi Deh Crane Engineering Co in Hsinchu City, took a less traditional approach this year to amuse his elderly father — Hu had his hair shaved into a pattern featuring the Japanese fictional character Hello Kitty.
On the sixth day of the Lunar New Year, Hu said he was thinking about how he could amuse his father when he noticed a newly opened hair salon as he was passing through Taoyuan City.
Hu said he then had an epiphany and strolled into the salon, asking the hairstylists to shave his hair into a Hello Kitty pattern.
Surprised by such an unusual request from a middle-aged man, the hairstylist refused to shave Hu’s head until the pair agreed the exact type of Hello Kitty pattern Hu wanted.
The Hello Kitty hairstyle was a success and a good likeness of the character, Hu said.
Hu said his father, Hu Peng-fei (胡鵬飛), was delighted and impressed by the “creative” hairstyle, and gave a thumbs up sign and described the decision to adopt the new coiffure as “courageous.”
“It was worthwhile,” said Hu Han-yan, after seeing joy on his father’s face.
Hu Han-yan said that his new haircut not only entertained his father, but also children during the Lunar New Year holidays.
His novel hairstyle has also fascinated Hello Kitty fans, with many of then asking if they can have a photograph taken with him.
“I feel like I’m a star now,” said Hu Han-yan, who added that he has to trim his hair every five days to keep his “Hello Kitty” in tip-top condition.
Hu Han-yan has been dubbed by some local media outlets as “a modern Lao Lai-tzu (老萊子),” alluding to an elderly character in The Book of 24 Filial Pieties (二十四孝) renowned for dressing up as a baby to amuse his parents.
“Next time, I might try a different iconic pattern, such as Doraemon [a popular Japanese manga cartoon character] or SpongeBob SquarePants [a US cartoon character], so long as I can amuse my father,” said Hu Han-yan.
Translated by Stacy Hsu, staff writer